Friday, March 4, 2022

Marillion released An Hour Before It’s Dark

An Hour Before It’s Dark


Released: March 4, 2022

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: neo-progressive rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Be Hard on Yourself (11/1/21, --)
    i. The Tear in the Big Picture [3:52]
    ii. Lust for Luxury [2:07]
    iii. You Can Learn [3:28]
  2. Reprogram the Gene
    i. Invincible [3:32]
    ii. Trouble-Free Life [2:01]
    iii. A Cure for Us? [1:29]
  3. Only a Kiss (instrumental) [0:39]
  4. Murder Machines [4:21] (2/3/22, --)
  5. The Crow and the Nightingale [6:35]
  6. Sierra Leone
    i. Chance in a Million [1:33]
    ii. The White Sand [0:53]
    iii. The Diamond [3:30]
    iv. The Blue Warm Air [2:24]
    v. More Than a Treasure [2:35]
  7. Care
    i. Maintenance Drugs [4:37]
    ii. An Hour Before It’s Dark [2:28]
    iii. Every Call [3:19]
    iv. Angels on Earth [4:56]

All songs written by Hogarth/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley.

Total Running Time: ??

The Players:

  • Steve Hogarth (vocals, percussion)
  • Steve Rothery (guitar)
  • Pete Trewavas (bass)
  • Mark Kelly (keyboards)
  • Ian Mosley (drums)

Quotable: -- “One of their most accomplished albums” –

About the Album:

Previous album, 2016’s F.E.A.R., “was more a dark and condemning comment on the government and the bureaucrats who ran the country.” PR On An Hour Before It’s Dark, Marillion “reflect on their own behaviour and put their finger in the wounds of time.” PR While the band call this “their most upbeat album in quite a while” PR they “do not shy away from uncomfortable topics.” PR

“This new release deals with the pandemic in a much more hopeful and enriching manner.” PR The album’s release “coincides with us hopefully seeing the pandemic diminishing rapidly and a sense of normality returning to everyday life and mirrors this new found feeling of optimism and promise.” PR

“Like its predecessor, [it] was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios” PR

“Be Hard on Yourself”
“The wonderfully dramatic Be Hard on YourselfPR is “nine minutes of intense but fast paced music with Steve Hogarth’s distinctive vocals at the centre.” PR “It certainly opens the album in style.” PR

“Reprogram the Gene”
Reprogram the Gene delivers a powerful missive with the hard edged guitar and drums driving the song along, aided and abetted by a sharp suited bassline and keyboards. Steve Rothery has been given free reign to deliver some mighty power chords and Ian Mosley delivers an utterly mesmerising performance behind the drum kit. There’s a determined and catchy feel to this song and it resonates throughout the album.” PR

“Only a Kiss” and “Murder Machines”
“The short, sweet instrumental, Only a Kiss segues into the second single from the album, the irrepressibly infectious Murder Machines, a song that was born in the challenging times of lockdown and social distancing and has become so much more than just a mirror of our times, more than a song that deals with the precious as well as dark sides of human relationships. Steve Hogarth is in fine voice, especially on the buoyant chorus and Rothery’s guitar just sings perfectly.” PR

“The Crown and the Nightingale”
This is “a record of, and for, its time, emotive and emotional and that is felt throughout the wistfully brilliant The Crow and the Nightingale, a nostalgic nod to Leonard Cohen.” PR The song “flows beautifully and shows the band’s thoughtful and contemplative side impeccably.” PR

“Sierra Leone”
“That reflective tone carries on into the sublime Sierra Leone, another great song that sees the band in a storytelling frame of mind. This is a set of musicians who are playing at a ridiculously high level and delivering some of their best songs of a long and illustrious career, a band who are comfortable with themselves and their music and it is really obvious. This track builds gradually, the tempo increasing almost imperceptibly, before Rothery’s guitar breaks out, accompanied by Hogarth’s ever more dynamic voice. There are lulls as it ebbs and flows elegantly, always holding your attention, a fine piece of music indeed.” PR

“This superb and entrancing album comes to a close with one of Marillion’s finest ever tracks. In a long career of superlatives Care has to be right there at the top, a three part song that plumbs the depths of despair before rising through to end in promise and optimism. Pete Trewavas shows he is still one of the best bass players around and Rothery’s guitar is just transcendent, he really is at the top of his game. Mark Kelly delivers some bewitching keys throughout the album but none more so than here. This track really showcases the band’s impressive song writing abilities. Impassioned and passionate and, ultimately, uplifting, it is, possibly, the most perfect song they have ever written.” PR

An Hour Before It’s Dark can truly be seen as one of their most accomplished albums. It is an outstanding piece of music that the band should be incredibly proud of.” PR

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First posted 3/4/2022.

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